Tim Cook Just Shed New Light On Apple's Upcoming Mixed-Reality Headset

As Apple inches closer to its annual WWDC event in June, all eyes will be on the potential launch of a Mixed Reality headset that the company has been cooking up for years in its secretive design labs. In typical fashion, the company won't say anything about it ahead of an official reveal. Notably, Apple CEO Tim Cook recently sat for an interview and gave an idea about the company's approach towards transformative tech like Augmented Reality, and how it will make life easier for users.

In an interaction with GQ, when prodded about the heavily rumored AR/VR headset, Cook instead focused on the potential of Augmented Reality and how its deployment could "greatly enhance people's communication, people's connection." Communication appears to be one of the core selling points of Apple's headset. Rumors suggest that the headset will allow FaceTime calls via Memoji avatars generated in real-time, thanks to the smorgasbord of tracking sensors fitted on the device.

Notably, Cook made it abundantly clear that Apple is not just interested in making products but wants to own the inherent technology itself. "We want to control the primary technology. Because we know that's how you innovate," Cook said. Apple is no stranger to the strategy. After years of building a walled ecosystem of hardware and software, the company now also controls its silicon trajectory and is also looking forward to making its own networking chips for iPhones. The rumored headset, and the AR Glasses, likely won't be any different. 

Apple wants to control AR, not just a product

Overlaying virtual information over a clear view of the real world in a meaningful fashion is something every player in the industry wants to achieve. Google promised a game-changing experience with Google Glass, but it bombed. Microsoft also poured billions into creating a virtual world of productivity transposed over the real world with its HoloLens headset, but it has barely found any significant consumer reception aside from niche industrial and military applications. Meta has also demoed some stunning views of the figure catalyzed by AR and VR, but those promises are still strictly in the lab. Yet, Cook appears bullish on the same vision.

"It's the idea that there is this environment that may be even better than just the real world — to overlay the virtual world on top of it might be an even better world," Cook was quoted as saying. The topic of AR Glasses was also broached, as was the well-documented bombing of Google's own attempt bombed, and whether Apple would want to rethink the strategy after Cook himself balked at the idea a few years ago. "My thinking always evolves," Cook said, adding that Apple knows it would face skepticism with every new transformative product that it makes.